Mark Clattenburg doesn't hold back as he rates top Premier League refs

Mark Clattenburg has opened up on several Premier League refs.

Mark Clattenburg was, at one point, the number one referee in England.

He was so highly regarded that he was given both the 2016 Champions League final - contested between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid - as well as the Euro 2016 final.

But Clattenburg left the Premier League and European football in February 2017, taking up a role with the Saudi Arabian FA as the Head of Refereeing - a position previously held by Howard Webb.

Two years later, Clattenburg was off to China as a professional referee under the Chinese FA.

Clearly, he holds a passion for developing refereeing in developing football nations.

But after being gone for a few years, Clattenburg has voiced his opinions on the current crop of referees.

He's worked with most of them, of course, given that the turnover at the top level isn't exactly high.

This wasn't your normal 'voicing of opinions', however - it was ridiculously outspoken.

Speaking to Paddy Power's Pitch Invader magazine, Clattenburg tears into two referees in particular: Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson.

"Big mates with Martin Atkinson so that sums him up," he says of Moss, per the Mirror. "A good player, a good footballer, but he supported a s*** team like Sunderland.

Jon Moss 'look eight months pregnant' according to Clattenburg.

"I didn't really take to him and he liked a lot of the politics - I was more worried about doing my job.

"I don't really rate him as a referee, either.

"When I trained with him he looked like a fit guy but now he looks like he's about eight months pregnant."

Well, if that sounded harsh, he makes sure Atkinson gets both barrels, too.

"Me and him fell out so I've not got anything positive to say about him," he says. "I never really got on with him when I was in the Premier League and we never really saw eye-to-eye.

Martin Atkinson refereed the Community Shield.

"Thing is, he's an ex-copper - and he was that type of person on a football pitch. Off the pitch, in the group, I didn't integrate well with him either.

"When I was fighting him for the Euros and the Champions League in 2016, he didn't like it when I got both finals. Sorry, Martin."

There were some nice quotes, mind.

Michael Oliver is rated as "by far one of the best" around - not just in England, where Clattenburg considers him the very best.

Professional showman and part-time referee Mike Dean gets praise, too. "One of the blokes you can trust," says Clattenburg.

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